A dog and cat on a pet bed

November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month.

November is Pet Diabetes Awareness Month

By now, you have probably seen dozens of videos of chunky pets throwing a tantrum when they are not given the treats they want. While those videos are funny, they hold a deep message: pets are also affected by different health issues, including pet diabetes.

One health issue that pet owners are unable to diagnose is diabetes. According to US Pet Diabetes, 1 in 230 cats and 1 in 300 adult dogs in the country have diabetes. To raise awareness about this health problem, November has been declared “Pet Diabetes Awareness Month.”

A study conducted on obese and overweight pets over 9 years (2006 – 2015) revealed that diabetes increased by 18% in cats and by a whopping 80% in dogs. Seeing these increasing numbers, many animal shelters have decided to create awareness, and this led to the establishment of the Diabetes Pet Care Alliance in 2013.

Let’s learn more about pet diabetes:

What Is Pet Diabetes?

Diabetes in pets is the same condition as diabetes in humans. Cells in the body receive less sugar when the pancreas can’t make enough insulin or stops producing it. As a result, the body doesn’t get the energy it needs to function properly. The blood sugar either gets too low or too high, and the effects experienced are two-fold:

  • Without the right amount of sugar (energy) for proper functioning, the body breaks down the tissues, which are then converted by the liver into sugar. As a result, sugar continues to rise.
  • The continued rise in sugar starts to damage multiple organs that include the heart, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and blood vessels.

Symptoms of Pet Diabetes

  • Drinking more water (Polydipsia)
  • Always acting hungry (Polyphagia)
  • Urinating frequently and having accidents all over the house (Polyuria)
  • Lethargy
  • Cloudy eyes (Only in dogs)
  • Poor coat condition
  • Being moody

Since most pet owners are unfamiliar with how to detect health issues with their cats or dogs, they need to visit a vet immediately if they spot any of these symptoms. While there’s no cure for diabetes, there are plenty of ways to manage it.

Managing Pet Diabetes

Cats with feline diabetes usually live a normal life. Their lifespan is the same as cats without diabetes. As for dogs, there was a time when their life expectancy was much shorter. On average, dogs only lived 2 to 5 years past their diabetes diagnosis. However, things are changing now.

Cat owners need to keep their pets’ lifestyles healthy, give them a proper diet and monitor their blood glucose levels continuously as directed by the vet. Following these steps will ensure their feline friends have no problems. Dog owners will have to take care of their canine friends the same way to ensure their canine friends do not develop any other health problems, and all will be well.

A great way to control diabetes in pets is to get them to exercise. Physical activity will help control their glucose levels and offer them relief from most symptoms.

If you are having trouble getting your pet to be more active, get a professional force-free dog trainer to help you. For dog training in Miami, visit the website Dances with Dogs. They offer in-person and online pet training for both cats and dogs. To learn more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call on 786-299-1552.